Every Louisiana-Inspired Mardi Gras Recipe You Could Ever Need

When it comes to regional cuisine around the United States, food from Louisiana may just have some of the boldest and most distinctive flavors. We're not just talking about Cajun and Creole cuisine, which use the "Holy Trinity" of onions, bell peppers and celery, fresh shellfish and rich roux that stew for hours. We're also talking about po'boys, muffaletta, beignets and all of those delicious dishes you'll find in New Orleans.

Fortunately, you don't have to travel all the way to Louisiana to try the state's signature cuisine — these recipes will allow you to make them in the comfort of your own home.

Creole Seafood Gumbo

You can't think about Creole dishes without a seafood-packed gumbo coming to mind. This particular recipe uses crab, shrimp and oysters, all cooked in a thick, brown roux.

For the Creole Seafood Gumbo recipe, click here.

Green Gumbo

A traditional Lenten dish in Louisiana, green gumbo is packed with aromatic herbs, like parsley and Thai basil. If that isn't green enough for you, this soup is also packed with cabbage, broccoli rabe, mustard greens and turnip greens. This meat-free dish is perfect for Fridays during Lent. 

For the Green Gumbo recipe, click here.

Shrimp and Chicken Jambalaya

A classic shrimp and chicken jambalaya is not for the faint of heart. While it may not contain the world's hottest hot sauces, a blend of Crystal Hot Sauce, cayenne powder and jalapeno peppers packs a punch.

For the Shrimp and Chicken Jambalaya recipe, click here.

Fried Shrimp and Oyster Po’boy

A traditional po'boy is made with French bread, giving it a crispy crust and fluffy center. Fried shellfish only adds to the po'boy's dreamy texture. Most restaurants will ask if you want your sandwich "dressed," which means adding a salad of shredded lettuce, tomatoes and pickles and a special mayonnaise sauce. And trust us, you do.

For the Fried Shrimp and Oyster Po'boy recipe, click here.

Tailgate Muffuletta

If you're looking for one of the best sandwiches around, look no further than the Big Easy icon, the muffuletta. The Italian meats are perfectly complemented by a homemade olive salad.

For the Tailgate Muffuletta recipe, click here.

Blackened Redfish

You can make one of the most iconic restaurant dishes in America right in your own kitchen. This blackened redfish is a mashup of Creole seasonings, cayenne and black pepper on fish fillets. It can go on a po'boy or be served with a side of rice.

For the Blackened Redfish recipe, click here.

Shrimp Creole

Shrimp creole is a bit of a hybrid between gumbo and jambalaya, and has a thinner sauce that uses a tomato base. Serve over a big scoop of rice for a hearty meal.

For the Shrimp Creole recipe, click here.

Oysters Rockefeller

This classic Cajun dish is ready for any steakhouse-inspired menu, even outside of Mardi Gras. Shucked oysters are taken to the next level with fresh green herbs, butter and breadcrumbs, and then baked to golden perfection.

For the Oysters Rockefeller recipe, click here.

Shrimp Remoulade

Remoulade is a combination of mayonnaise, herbs, pickles and more that originated in France. But when Louisiana took on this mayo-based sauce, it added creole mustard, cayenne pepper and other ingredients that gave it its reddish color and spicy flavor.

For the Shrimp Remoulade recipe, click here.

Creole-Style Jambalaya

This Creole-style jambalaya is one of the all-time best chicken recipes. Tender chicken breasts and thighs are amped up with smoked sausage and rice that is heavily seasoned with the "Holy Trinity" plus plenty of garlic, basil, rosemary and oregano.

For the Creole-style Jambalaya recipe, click here.

BBQ Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grit Cake

Shrimp and grits are a classic Lowcountry breakfast dish, and this Southern fave is taken to the next level with smoky barbecued shrimp and grits infused with gouda.

For the BBQ Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grit Cake recipe, click here.

Dirty Rice

The "dirty" part of dirty rice's name comes from the color of the white rice when it is cooked with chicken livers and ground pork. Though often cooked on a stovetop, this recipe suggests baking it to make the rice moist and fluffy.

For the Dirty Rice recipe, click here.

Shrimp Etouffee

The "Holy Trinity" of onion, celery and bell pepper is on full display in this saucy shrimp etouffee recipe. Seafood lovers have no shortage of Louisiana-inspired recipes, but this one is a bonafide classic.

For the Shrimp Etouffee recipe, click here.

Boudin Balls

Boudin is the combination of cooked rice, pork, the "Holy Trinity" and plenty of Cajun spice all rolled together. As the name implies, these ingredients are shaped into a ball and dipped into a panko mixture before being deep-fried.

For the Boudin Balls recipe, click here.


Crawfish Boil

You haven't had the true New Orleans experience until you've sat down with your friends, cracked open a beer and stuffed your face with crawfish. The Southern tradition calls for you to toss some boiled crawfish on the table — on top of newspaper or a table cloth — along with cooked potatoes, corn, andouille sausages and more. 

For the Crawfish Boil recipe, click here.

New Orleans Shrimp Boil

Not a crawfish fan? Understandable. This shrimp boil has those same classic New Orleans flavors courtesy of Zatarain's liquid crab boil, bay leaves, mustard seeds and coriander, which marinate with the easily-available protein.

For the New Orleans Shrimp Boil recipe, click here.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

If the dark red-brown broth doesn't make it abundantly clear, this chicken and andouille sausage gumbo is rich and flavorful. The secret? Chicken fat.

For the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo recipe, click here.

Vegan Filé Okra Gumbo

Want all the great flavors of a classic Louisiana gumbo without the meat? This plant-based okra gumbo checks off all the boxes.

For the Vegan Filé Okra Gumbo recipe, click here.

Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is a very versatile dish that pairs perfectly with a slice of cornbread, another classic Southern staple. 

For the Red Beans and Rice recipe, click here.

Louisiana Ring Cake

A classic Southern dessert with touches of orange, this Louisiana ring cake is an underrated treat.

For the Louisiana Ring Cake recipe, click here.

Universal's Mardi Gras Beignets

It does not get more classically New Orleans than a big, fluffy beignet. This recipe is especially fun: it's the same one served at Universal Orlando's famous Mardi Gras celebration!

For Universal's Mardi Gras Beignets recipe, click here.

John Besh's King Cake

King cake is a Mardi Gras tradition, and New Orleans' signature colors (green, gold and purple) decorate the top of this sweet bread dough. Don't forget to hide a little plastic baby inside! Whoever finds it gets to bake up this treat for the next year.

For John Besh's King Cake recipe, click here.


Beignets get all the hype, but calas, also known as rice fritters or doughnuts, are an underrated deep-fried gem. Serve with your favorite coffee beverage.

For the Calas recipe, click here.

Bananas Foster

Bananas foster is an all-New Orleans dessert, made famous at Brennan's. An impressive rum flambe gives bananas a beautiful caramel flavor and color, and the whole thing is best served over ice cream. If this dessert makes you think you're a chef, you may want to try your hand at these recipes straight from Louisiana chefs.

For the Bananas Foster recipe, click here.

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